Connecticut Fishing Report- May 18, 2023

Fresh migratory schoolies are abundant along the beaches, weakfish bite well in Western CT and there are piles of porgies for the taking throughout the Sound.

Connecticut Fishing Report

Matt, at Black Hall Outfitters in Westbrook, told me that all signs are pointing to the kickoff of the spring migratory striped bass run, although the recent cooler weather may have slowed things down a touch. There are still tons of school bass out in the Sound, along with some better migratory fish being reported from Rhode Island. There are also still some larger bass working the herring runs up the rivers, and we should have another week or two of that action. There has been increasing bluefish action for anglers fishing throughout CT, and there are still some nice weakfish coming from the Western to Central Sound. Freshwater fishing patterns have remained similar, with good pre-spawn largemouth fishing and great crappie fishing on micro jigs and soft plastics.  


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Heather from Black Hawk Sportfishing was happy to report that their early porgy season remains strong, with fantastic fishing since last weekend. Boat limits of porgies have been commonplace, along with a good number of weakfish. The squid trips have been up and down, but most of the trips have resulted in good numbers! They have started to add some striped bass diamond jig trips and after work trips, so be sure to check their website for scheduling. 

Captain Mike Roy, at Reel Cast Charters reports that the stripers are still working into their Spring patterns. Fishing has been good this week, with the water cleaning up in the lower river, along with some nice fish out front. The fish are moving around quite a bit, but on any given day you can find good fish in the rivers, out by The Race and/or along the local shoreline. Mike has also seen a nice mix of weakfish this year which has been an added bonus! Be sure to check in with Captain Mike to schedule a trip before the schedule really starts to fill up. 


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Dan, at Dan’s Bait, Tackle and Charters in New London told me that May has remained steady for local anglers, despite some cooler temperatures recently. Saltwater anglers are finding school to slot bass throughout the sound, and larger fish are slowly but surely trickling in. Holdover bass fishing is still strong throughout the Thames, especially around the herring runs, but those fish have been pressured heavily and can be finicky at times. Freshwater anglers targeting perch and calico are finding some success on small jigs and lures fished slowly, as those fish are starting to stage up for the spawn. Largemouth reports have been steady, while the local trout reports improved with the improving flow conditions. 

Tyler, at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk reports that the striped bass bite has continued to proliferate out west this week, with a slug of big fish showing up in local waters. Anglers fishing the deep structure found a strong bite of fish to 30-pounds, along with a few larger specimens. Flutter spoons, mojos, umbrella rigs, bunker spoons and large plugs have all been getting the job done. Most of the bunker schools are still to the west, and when they arrive, things will only get better. The inshore bass fishing has been consistent as well, albeit they’re mainly smaller fish. Anglers tossing small swimming plugs, soft plastics and/or sandworms have been catching along the beaches, flats and in the tributaries. Anglers heading across the sound are starting to find some fluke in shallow water, and we should be seeing them closer to home soon. The unpleasant weather this past week kept freshwater reports to a minimum, but the trout streams are flowing nicely again, and the reservoir should start fishing well any day now. 

Connecticut Fishing Forecast

Connecticut anglers continue to see a nice mix of holdover and early migratory striped bass, with sizes improving daily. The major rivers have cleaned up quite a bit this week, so there is plenty of fishable striped bass water, whether it’s up the tidal rivers, around the mouth of the rivers, or out front. Some big bass have started to settle into the Western Sound, along with a nice slug of weakfish. Anglers are reporting some big bluefish from all over the state, so that early season fishery appears to be right around the corner. Shad reports improved in the CT River as soon as the water cleaned up, and we should still have a few more weeks to target them. The trout streams are back to fishable flows and some quality trout reports have started to flow back in! Pre-spawn largemouth, a strong crappie bite and good action for the carp anglers are rounding out the freshwater catches.   

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